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Glasgow bus firm named Public Transport Operator the Year

Glasgow bus firm named Public Transport Operator the Year

First Glasgow has taken home the top prize at this year's Scottish Transport Awards.

The firm was awarded the ‘Public Transport Operator of the Year’ title after a putting in a winning performance during last year’s Commonwealth Games.

The judges highlighted the significant role First Glasgow played in the smooth running of the games when it carried a quarter of a million spectators.

In addition, the firm has seen a rise in overall customer satisfaction in the last 12 months with First Glasgow customers rated by Passenger Focus as among the most satisfied in the UK.

Bosses at the firm said the introduction of 226 buses new in the last three years at a cost of £37m and its new £20m headquarters have helped the firm to improve its performance.

Also highly commended in this category was one of First Glasgow’s longest serving employees lost property assistant Jean Scott and First Scotland East bus driver Mark Smith.

Star of a recent STV documentary, Jean is renowned for going to extraordinary lengths to reunite passengers with their lost belongings while Mark’s quick thinking saved the life of a local woman who’d left a distressed note after travelling on one of First’s local bus services when he rushed to inform local police.

Regional Managing Director of First in Scotland, Dave Alexander, said: "I’m delighted that First in Scotland has been recognised with a fantastic double award win.

"I’m especially pleased that First Glasgow deservedly been named Public Transport Operator of the Year, not just for its fantastic efforts during last summer’s Commonwealth Games, but outstanding performance overall.

“Delivering bus services during Scotland’s biggest ever event was no mean feat and the whole team at First Glasgow rose to the challenge with exceptional results."

Glasgow City Council won recognition at the awards night as well.

The local authority won an award, sponsored by First Group, for its role in travel planning for the Commonwealth Games. The council's work promoting walking and cycling was also rewarded with a prize.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said: “We’ve already been named as the UK Council of the Year this year and this award represents another fantastic achievement for us, once again marking the fact that Glasgow has a reputation for delivery.

“Our cycle hire scheme has been an overwhelming success and we’ve now expanded it at the request of the public.

“The transport element of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was one of the biggest challenges we faced last year.

“We had tens of thousands of extra visitors in Glasgow last summer. During that time, we not only got athletes and spectators to where they needed to be when they needed to be there, we also kept the city running and ensured that the disruption to residents and businesses was kept to a minimum."

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